The two partners intend to provide £700,000-worth of phones and tablets over the next two years

It is undeniable that the UK has a major problem with homelessness. While exact statistics are, due to the very nature of the problem, difficult to produce, a study produced by the charity Shelter estimated the numbers at around 320,000 at the end of 2019, with 4,000–5,000 people sleeping rough every night. 

Many of these people lack access to the connectivity that we take for granted, leaving them not only unable to keep in touch with friends and family, but also being without access to services and crucial health information during the pandemic.

Now, Tesco Mobile are partnering with the charity Crisis to help deliver £700,000-worth of connected devices and data to homeless people within the UK. In the first year of this two-year plan, the companies hope to deliver connected devices to around 2,500 homeless people.

Providing connectivity for the homeless during the coronavirus has been a key focus for Crisis throughout the pandemic, having already provided around 1,000 mobile phones for homeless people during the lockdown period. 

Both companies are also urging the public to donate to the cause, both financially and via unwanted devices.

“We believe passionately that everyone has the right to be connected and that mobile connection brings us all closer to other people, to society, and provides access to essential services,” said Tom Denyard, chief executive of Tesco Mobile. “For many people living without a permanent home, digital connection is a necessary lifeline.”

Such a project is a useful reminder that the term ‘digital divide’ is more than just a neat marketing phrase – that the lack of connectivity can really have a huge impact on someone’s life, effectively locking them out of participating in many aspects of the society in which they live, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Connectivity alone is not a solution to poverty and homelessness, but it is nonetheless a key to unlocking vital opportunities for some of those in the UK who need them most.

If you would like to donate a mobile device to help this worth cause, you can do so here.


How is the telecoms industry contributing to bettering society in the UK? Find out at this year’s Connected Britain

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